Natural gas plays a vital market role in the economy of each country of the European Union and is believed by many to be the most important energy source for the future. European Union through European Commission established common rules for all Member States, creating a well regulated market that has the main purpose to be an efficient market, without abuses and manipulation on energy prices, with a very good infrastructure and secure sources of supply.
In this context all Member States of the European Union must adhere to the values of a new energy market which has very clear established rules. The modernization process of the European energy market started before 1995, followed by the first liberalisation directives (First Energy Package) adopted in 1996 for the electricity and in 1998 for gas.
The hard work of the European Commission (including all the energy packages), agency ACER (established in 2009), non-profit associations like ENTSO-G (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas) and ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, both established in 2009) they upgraded the European energy market to a whole new level creating a unique and more functional energy market.
Natural gas can also play an important role in meeting peak electricity demand and fueling cogeneration plants that generate both heat and power-which are up to twice as efficient as plants that only generate electricity highly efficient technologies that provide both heat and power in the commercial and industrial sectors.
However, natural gas is buy no means a panacea for the environmental problems caused by our energy use. There is broad agreement among climate scientists that carbon reductions of at least 80 percent by 2050 will be needed to avert the worst effects of climate change. Simply switching to natural gas from coal and oil will not ultimately bring about the necessary reductions. In addition, the development of our newly discovered shale gas resource will disturb areas previously untouched by oil and gas exploration and raise serious water management and quality challenges. Source
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